Pak polls: Nomination of Musharraf rejected

Lahore/Islamabad: In a double blow to former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf, Supreme Court on Friday decided to hear a petition seeking his trial for treason even as one of his four nomination papers for May 11 General Election was rejected.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry will take up on Monday a petition filed by former Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association president Taufiq Asif seeking Musharraf's trial for treason.

The petition was included among cases scheduled to be heard next week, officials said.

Asif's petition was clubbed with two other applications seeking similar action against Musharraf.

At the hearing on Monday, the bench will decide whether treason proceedings should be initiated against Musharraf, who recently returned to Pakistan after nearly four years in self-exile.

Musharraf had returned to Pakistan on March 24 after nearly four-years of self-exile. During his exile, Musharraf used to shuttle between London and Dubai.

In another development, the Returning Officer at Kasur in Punjab rejected 69-year-old Musharraf's nomination papers for the general election on the ground that the signature did not match the one on his national identity card, officials told PTI.

Musharraf has filed papers to contest the general election from four parliamentary seats in Karachi, Islamabad, Chitral and Kasur.

Reports said a lawyer, Javed Kasuri Advocate, too had objected to Musharraf's candidature on the ground that the former President had violated Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, which specify that candidates should have a "good character" and be "sagacious, righteous and non-profligate".

Returning Officer Mohammad Saleem rejected the former dictator's nomination papers, officials said.

In a separate development, a man named Syed Tariq Ali submitted an objection to nomination papers filed by Musharraf for another parliamentary constituency in Islamabad.

It could not immediately be ascertained when election authorities would take up the objection.

Meanwhile, a lawyer named Zafarullah has filed an application on behalf of the PML-N in the Election Commission seeking Musharraf's disqualification on the ground that he is an accused in four cases, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation.